gemination/degemination of stops in ligature with semi-vowels

victor van Bijlert victorvanbijlert at KPNPLANET.NL
Tue Dec 23 15:15:42 UTC 2008

Thank you for a useful comment. I was merely trying to think why Buddhologists might make much out of the spelling bodhisattva / bodhisatva as found in manuscripts. But I am convinced the point is not too important, seeing that also in other manuscripts such spelling-variants occur that do not affect the meaning. But is was precisely the concern that the meaning would be affected if the bodhisattva was really a bodhisatva that engendered the philological subdebate.
Victor van Bijlert

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] Namens Kengo Harimoto
Verzonden: dinsdag 23 december 2008 15:31
Onderwerp: Re: gemination/degemination of stops in ligature with semi-vowels

Adding to Dominic's comment,

Pāṇini has rules regarding gemination, some of them as options in  
8.4.46 ff.  So, not all of the variations (in pronunciation and in  
orthography) that involve geminations are ungrammatical.  I think most  
of them are in fact Pāṇinian acceptable.

This particular one, V+ttva and V+tva, is optionally allowed by 8.4.47.

Prof. Cardona had an article on nasals that explored various  
pronunciation options adopted by Vedic Prātiśākhyas.  Is it  
published?  There, if I remember correctly, opinions of some teachers  
that prohibit certain geminations were mentioned.  Prohibition of ttva  
was one of them.

Some copyists are very strict about which options they use in writing:  
two Malayalam manuscripts I used have:

- t[y/v]a instead of tt[y/v]a to the point of utpatyabhāvaḥ rather  
than utpattyabhāvaḥ

- although they double t after r; thus kīrtyate rather than kīrttyate

Other copyists seem more liberal. I no more pay attention, which may  
be not a good practice, whether in a particular manuscript it is  
sattva or satva if the manuscript comes from the North.  I think it's  
rather common to see both sattva and satva in a manuscripts.

So, my point is to emphasize Dominic's conclusion:

> it seems unlikely that anything can be useful known about the  
> history of the word bodhisattva/bodhisatva from the way it is  
> written in manuscripts.

Even according to Pāṇini, bodhisattva and bodhisatva can be the same  

kengo harimoto=

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list